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'Focus: Black Oklahoma': Stand Your Ground laws, Oklahoma's low voter turnout, western wildfires

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Jamie Glisson / ImpressOK
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Rep. Monroe Nichols (D-Tulsa) waits in line to file for the 2022 election cycle. He was one of the 55 state House or Senate seats that went uncontested.

This episode of Focus: Black Oklahoma features reports on the case of a Black man shot and killed in Norman, what candidates are filing for office in 2022 and firefighters of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes defending western Oklahoma from wildfires.

Dr. Nick Alexandrov opens the show with #JusticeForShed: A Black man is dead in Norman, Oklahoma, and while the family seeks answers, others are bringing attention to Stand Your Ground laws and how they are in-equitably applied when it comes to Black and Brown bodies.

Next, Jamie Glisson reports that only 54% of registered voters in Oklahoma voted in the 2020 elections. As we approach key elections in the coming months, Jamie shares who is in, who is out, and where there are opportunities to engage voters.

Lydia Jeong brings to the forefront the power of listening to our neighbors and connecting with our communities, highlighting the simple process and profound results of communication.

In our next story we ask, "What values do Oklahomans authentically share with the rest of the country and more specifically what values matter most to Black and Brown Oklahomans?" Juddie Williams speaks with local surveyors who want to dig into the ideals and motivations of Black and Brown folks in the center of America.

Then Sherrita Sweet follows up on an education fund for descendants of the Tulsa Race Massacre that was put in place nearly twenty years ago. She talks with a leader looking to expand the fund and navigate the complications ahead.

As climate change continues to bear down upon the western United States, historic wildfires have wreaked havoc upon the lives of many. In western Oklahoma, and numerous other states, the elite firefighters and fire management staff from the Cheyenne and Arapaho nations have continued to answer the call. Shonda Little has that story.

Finally, Michelle Collum reminds us that even when you look your best, no one knows when a wardrobe malfunction is going to strike. Here, she shares a funny tale about a bathroom wrestling match that you’ll never forget.


Focus: Black Oklahoma is produced in partnership with KOSU Radio, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and Tri-City Collective. Additional support is provided by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies.

Our theme music is by Moffett Music.

Focus: Black Oklahoma’s executive producers are Quraysh Ali Lansana and Bracken Klar. Our associate producers are Nick Alexandrov and Vanessa Gaona. Our production intern is Smriti Iyengar.

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